December 13, 2019

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Dump & Chase

Storm cell of hockey

Fitting wasn’t it that the Winnipeg Jets played host to their first home contest of the 2019-20 NHL season with near blizzard conditions outside the walls of Bell MTS Place. Ah, yes, hockey on the Prairies.

Inside the downtown barn, the Jets generated a bit of storm cell of their own, firing five goals — including two by Patrik Laine and another pair set up by the winger — to defeat their division rivals from Minnesota. Winnipeg (3-2-0) has scored 19 in five games to share the goals-for lead with Toronto and Edmonton.

Dump (aka Mike) and Chase (aka Jay) were both up in the press box to witness a pretty solid effort by the hosts, who had a strong first period but trailed by a goal, took command with a couple of goals in the middle frame, sagged early in the third and then kicked into high gear on a four-on-four situation, scoring twice, in the final frame.

Mike had a great night, keeping his phone next to him at all times (the reference will become clear shortly), while Jay thoroughly enjoyed the late arrival of a big bowl of Smarties between the first and second periods. He heads to Chicago on his first out-of-town assignment of the season as the Blackhawks host the Jets on Saturday night. Great snacks at United Center.

Here’s a smorgasbord of hockey treats for your enjoyment: our third installment of D & C this year.

Pregame warmup

Mike had quite the pregame experience earlier this week at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, where he was covering the Winnipeg Jets game against the Penguins.

File this one under, "Kids, don’t try this at home." 

 


A new season is underway, and that means a whole new Winnipeg Jets pregame music playlist was unveiled Thursday night at Bell MTS Place.

Want to get pumped up like the pros? Courtesy of the Shazam app, here’s what helped get the blood pumping prior to a big 5-2 win over the Minnesota Wild.

1. Hustlin’ by Rick Ross

2. Smells Like Teen Spirit (Remix) by DJ Crazy J Rodriguez

3. Bomb A Drop by Garmiani

4. I Ain’t Never Scared by Bonecrusher

5. Mr. Brightside by the Killers

6. Welcome To The Party by Diplo, French Montana and Lil Pump feat. Zhavia Ward

7. War Pigs by Black Sabbath

8. Till I Collapse (Remix) by Sullee J

9. I’m A Boss by DJ Quick and Meek Mill

10. Joker and the Thief by Wolfmother

First period

The sample size is tiny, yet here we go with our NHL power rankings. There’s definitely some early surprises, with teams such as Edmonton, Buffalo and Anaheim perhaps exceeding expectations, and other clubs such as Dallas, San Jose and New Jersey struggling out of the gate.

1. Boston Bruins

2. Carolina Hurricanes

3. St. Louis Blues

4. Colorado Avalanche

5. Tampa Bay Lightning

6. Edmonton Oilers

7. Washington Capitals

8. Vegas Golden Knights

9. Nashville Predators

10. Buffalo Sabres

11. Toronto Maple Leafs

12. Anaheim Ducks

13. Calgary Flames

14. Winnipeg Jets

15. Philadelphia Flyers

16. New York Rangers

17. Detroit Red Wings

18. Pittsburgh Penguins

19. Montreal Canadiens

20. New York Islanders

21. Dallas Stars

22. Columbus Blue Jackets

23. Florida Panthers

24. Chicago Blackhawks

25. Los Angeles Kings

26. Arizona Coyotes

27. Vancouver Canucks

28. New Jersey Devils

29. San Jose Sharks

30. Minnesota Wild

31. Ottawa Senators

Second period

There’s nothing like a little bad blood early in the season to get the competitive juices flowing. And now, with the increasing use of social media by various NHL teams, sometimes the rivalry spills off the ice and into cyberspace.

Take the Philadelphia Flyers, who knocked off the New Jersey Devils earlier this week – the beat them even more soundly on Twitter.

 

 

 

Somebody stop the fight! OK, perhaps it was a bit of overkill, especially since the Flyers haven’t exactly been the picture of success in recent years. But as long as they can take it, in addition to dishing it out, we have no issue. 


Speaking of the Flyers – and trash-talking – how about the savage move pulled by Gritty during the pre-game warm-ups, in which he targeted new Devils defenceman P.K. Subban, who is currently engaged to skier Lindsey Vonn. 

All’s fair in love and war.

 


Jets captain Blake Wheeler got a whole lotta love from fans during the second period of the club’s 5-2 triumph over the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night and then immediately gave some right back.

Wheeler evened the game 1-1 with his second goal of the season and the 700th point of what’s now the start of his 12th NHL season. The Bell MTS Place crowd gave him a long ovation and he promptly waved back and clapped his hands in a show of gratitude to his supporters.

 

 

Wheeler later added an assist on Patrik Laine’s go-ahead goal, raising the points he’s earned in nine seasons as a Jet to 574. The rest were split between the Boston Bruins and Atlanta Thrashers.

He’s 33 years old but the Jets gave him a five-year, US$41.25 million contract extension that kicked in this season, believing there’s still a lot left in the tank.

Third Period

The Manitoba Moose social-media team is top-notch, and we’re big fans of the goal-scoring GIFs they put together every season. 

However, some of their finest work was unveiled this week in a new online series featuring forward Skyler McKenzie, who apparently has a bit of an affinity for science. 

Introducing: Sky, the Science Guy! 


We’re a little behind on this one, but people are PVRing everything nowadays. Consider this a program you didn’t have an opportunity to see last week, so you hit the timer and are just getting to it now.

It’s been a long time since Toronto called itself a championship city, but the Raptors changed all when they captured the NBA title in June. Now, Leafs head coach Mike Babcock has come up with an idea to borrow some of that winning mojo.

After his squad posted a 5-3 victory over the Ottawa Senators in the season-opener last week, the Toronto bench boss walked into the dressing holding a ball loaned to the hockey team from their basketball brethren.

 

Not just any ball. One used during the Raptors’ championship series against the Golden State Warriors.

Adopting the mantra, ‘It’s our time,’ the offensively charged Leafs — considered a legitimate threat to win its first Stanley Cup since 1967 — will pass the ball to a player deemed to be the most valuable after each win the team posts.

Babcock delivered the first assist of the new ritual, flipping the ball to Auston Matthews, who scored a pair of goals in the Toronto win. Matthews displayed some shifty hoops skills, dribbling between his legs and spinning the ball across one arm to the other.

The Leafs have a long way to go to halt their 51-season drought between NHL championships, but adding a bit of Raptors magic to the mix in certainly can’t hurt.

 

 

Overtime

Here’s a good tip if Dougie Hamilton is anywhere in the vicinity: wear an athletic supporter.

The Carolina defenceman did a quick check to see whether or not Patrick Budds, part of the Hurricanes training staff, was properly protected. Judging by the kid’s reaction, he was not. 

The low blow was delivered after Hamilton made a short twirl around the ice as the first star in Carolina’s 4-3 win over the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning.

No word on whether Budds went on the injured-reserve list with a sensitive lower-body injury, although he tweeted out the glove tap "didn’t feel great." Cough, cough… no kidding.

 


Earlier this week, Chase (aka Jay) got a real kick out of this tweet from TSN’s Gord Miller, and it requires only a short explanation. Miller was responding to one of those, This Day in Hockey items on Oct. 6, although his addendum was far more entertaining than the original tidbit of information. 

 

During the expansion Tampa Bay Lightning’s first-ever game in October 1992, forward Chris Kontos scored a franchise-record four goals to spark the club to a 7-3 win over the Chicago Blackhawks.

After Kontos beat goalie Ed Belfour in the second period for his third of the night, a fan in the crowd was so excited that he tossed his hat onto the ice to celebrate the hat-trick. Kontos has since admitted that patron was his godfather.

A fastidious usher working that night at Expo Hall, an indoor arena located at the Florida State Fairgrounds, quickly rushed to the fellow and informed him that he’d have to leave the game for tossing something onto the ice. Few in Florida seemed to understand the hat-trick tradition.

"I think even (then-GM Phil Esposito) saw it and said, ‘No, no, no! In hockey that's allowed. When someone scores three, that's the tradition. You throw hats.’"

"The Floridians were so new to hockey, they had a steep learning curve in the beginning," Kontos would say later.

The four-goal effort remains a Lightning record, although Kontos shares it with Martin St. Louis who tied it against the San Jose Sharks on Jan. 18, 2014.

Shootout

There’s no question the Los Angeles Kings have one of the best Twitter games in the business, but they were forced to eat some crow this week as they targeted the Washington Nationals, who appeared to be on the verge of MLB playoff elimination at the hands of the Los Angeles Dodgers. 

Problem is, the Nationals mounted an incredible, late-game comeback to win the series in extra innings and send the Dodgers packing.

Oh, and the reference to 8-2? That happened to be the exact score the Kings ended up losing by that very night, to the Vancouver Canucks.

 Whoops! Sometimes it’s best just to stay in your lane, don’t you think?


We talked earlier about great rivalries in the game, and there’s no question the Vegas Golden Knights and San Jose Sharks have one of the best ones going.

There’s plenty of bad blood between the two teams, which spilled over into a bit of a brawl during back-to-back meetings to start the regular season.

Leave it to veteran Vegas goalie Marc-Andre Fleury to add a bit of levity to the situation by helping officials clean up the post-melee mess – although probably not in a way the Sharks appreciated. 


 

Got a suggestion for a future edition of Dump & Chase? Let us know about it.

mike.mcintyre@freepress.mb.ca and jason.bell@freepress.mb.ca 

And follow Dump & Chase on Twitter.

Mike is @mikemcintyrewpg, while Jason can be found @WFPJasonBell

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